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Federal legislation gives control of home care packages and services

17 Feb 2016

Changes in home care give people more choice and control

Changes in home care give people more choice and control

Leading seniors advocate Council on the Ageing has welcomed the introduction of federal legislation which will give control of aged home care packages and services to older people for the first time. This is a great first step in allowing older people to pick and choose their services, and who provides them, rather than that being determined for them.

Currently aged care packages are allocated by government to aged care service providers, so when an older person is assessed as eligible for a package to support them in their home, they have to then find a provider in their area who has one available.

Under the system proposed in the Bill tabled last week in federal parliament, after being assessed as eligible, the person will get the care package and can take it to the provider of their choice. In addition an individual who is not happy with the services they receive can move to another provider and take their package with them.

COTA says this is about increasing choice and control for older people -‐ a step toward implementation of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations for a fully consumer focused and controlled system. It moves us towards a more competitive aged care environment where providers will have to prove their worth – increasing competition and improving quality of service delivery.

There are big problems with some providers not following requirements of the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) model in place since July 2015. The changes proposed will enable consumers to move away from poor providers, which will be a relief to many older people and their families.

Council on the Ageing is urging all Parliamentary Parties to affect quick passage of the legislation so implementation planning can proceed with plenty of time. They are also calling on the government to continue the process of aged care reform by announcing further initiatives in the 2016 Federal Budget such as a timetable for extending the same consumer choice and control into residential aged care.

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